Following our last trip to the Nike Art Gallery here, we scheduled another visit to the Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park in Alausa area of Ikeja, Lagos State.
As usual, we all set out from our different locations and converged at about 9:00am at the park, which is a few metres from Lagos State House of Assembly. We met our guide and our tour began with a bit of history behind establishment of the park.
The park was officially opened to the public on 13th December 2017, by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in honour of:
Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, (J)
Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, (J)
and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (T).
These were former governors of Lagos. Although they weren’t the only past governors of the state, their administration’s incredible efforts shaped the state to what it is today. They are the political triumvirate of the littoral state.
1. Brigadier Johnson, laid the foundation as the pioneer Governor of the newly created Lagos State in 1967 and constructed the Lagos–Badagry Expressway linking Nigeria with countries in the West African sub region, the Itoikin Bridge linking Epe and Ikorodu; the Eko Bridge and a network of roads and bridges that opened up the new Lagos.
2. Alhaji Jakande, was the first elected Civilian Governor of Lagos State who’s administration introduced masses-oriented programme such as the successful implementation of the Free Education Programme, the establishment of new neighbourhood Primary and Secondary schools, and also construction of over 30,000 housing units in different parts of the State for the benefit of low income earners. His tenure also witnessed the completion of the General Hospitals in Gbagada and Ikorodu as well as the establishment of about 20 health centres within the State. Alhaji Lateef Jakande conceived and initiated the Metro line transit system that would have provided a solution to the challenge being experienced in the transportation sector today.
3. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration developed the blue print for the future development of the State and which successive administrations have continued to build upon and actualize today.
One of his remarkable achievements was the reform of the State Tax administration system which resulted in the State attaining the status of the most viable and self sustaining State in Nigeria. He also made huge investments in education and initiated new road constructions, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population of the State.
The ‘Jagaban’ as he’s commonly called, also established the institutional framework which ensured that the State was efficiently run through introduction of agencies like LIRS, LAMATA, LASTMA, etc. It’s said that one can’t simply talk about the history of Lagos State without mention of the ‘Jagaban’.
About the Park
According to our guide, the park covers a total land area of approximately 21,800 square metres and managed by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK).
The park has zero entrance fee, so a one does not have to pay to enter the park or use it’s facilities. Well, except if the park is rented out for sponsored events like Musical concerts, wedding receptions, etc.
The park opens at 8:00am and closes at 6:30pm between Monday to Sunday. Unfortunately, there is no car parking space provided for visitors. So one has to park either at the Ndubuisi Kanu park or Secretariat park, for a fee.
Interesting features of JJT Park
*Eyo statue: A massive statue of Eyo Masquerade, a cultural identity of Lagos State people sits few meters from the entrance into the park. With a water fountain surrounding the statue and a wooden bridge to access it from both ends, the Eyo greets and welcomes you to the JJT Park.
*Birds: A cage house that has an assortment of exotic birds 🦜on display
*The Triumvirate: In the middle of the park sits an elevated bust of the political triumvirate (Johnson, Jakande and Tinubu). This is unarguably the most interesting spot in the JJT Park.
*Lyrical fountain: there’s a lyrical fountain which it’s water rises and falls in rhythm with beats of song played. Watching how the fountain works was quite a sight 😊
*The African Union: A circling of national flags representing the 54 nations in Africa. The elevated busts of JJT are situated at the centre of this beautiful circling.
*Kids playground: what’s a recreational park without something for the kids? lol
In the East section of the park is a Kid’s playground with fun equipment to keep visiting children busy and host kid events. The playground and the park in general is a nice place for photo shoots. we’ve met several shoots ongoing during our various visits to the park.
*Games: There’s a spot where Chess game set is available for those who are interested to play at zero cost . Just find and opponent and slug it out there 😎
*Free Internet: Within the park arena is the presence of a free internet Wi-fi, provided for visitors in the Park. Although the day we visited, the WiFi wasn’t functioning.
*Food Court: There is a food court in the park where fast food, snacks, soft drinks, ice cream, etc are sold. You can also come to the park with your own food and drinks, whichever option works for you
*Gazebos: There are big gazebos that serve as shelter from the sun and private relaxation spots. One can get a seat and share a table to sit, read or do whatever fun in mind. The gazebos range in sizes and capacity per size. The big ones can house about 10-15 persons while the medium and smaller ones can hold about 4 and 2 persons respectively
Asides the gazebos, food courts and kids playground, there are other sitting/recreational options at the park. Such as as the lush green field where picnics and other activities can be held. Also, there are seats located under the tree shades towards the west end of the park
*The Convenience: we had to mention the restrooms in the park because of how clean and organized they were. There are two buildings designated for the convenience; one for children and the other for adults. Both apart but managed by caretakers of the park. The convenience also doubles as a changing room for mostly those taking photo or video shoots.
The park sits in a serene area of Lagos state, devoid of the typical Lagos noise and dirt. So this makes it a good place to go to and relax, read a novel or even meditate. Although, due to the quietness of the place, it could be a boring for some used to loud life of eko or those who come alone. Also, the Park is barely a year old so the facilities are still very new, functioning and exciting to use.
The park is an ideal free spot for friend’s hang out, tour, meetings, picnic and fun in general. Parts of (or whole of) the park can be rented out to those in need of it for any event, which is managed by LASPARK.
If you haven’t been to JJT Park before now, this yuletide season is an ideal opportunity for you to pay the place a visit and tell us how the experience was like. If you’ve been to the park before, do well to tell us about your experience let’s gist 😉.